1. 140 children abducted in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
Armed militia in Nigeria have kidnapped 140 school children in Kaduna state, North-Western Nigeria. On Monday the 5th of July, a large group of gunmen arrived at Bethel Baptist school on motorbikes, broke down the fence and abducted the children. Police noted in a statement that the attackers, “overpowered the school's security guards and made their way into the students' hostel where they abducted an unspecified number of students into the forest". Nigeria has recently been facing a spate of mass-kidnappings for ransom in schools and universities, with over 1000 students abducted since December.
2. New report highlights food insecurity in conflict ridden Northern Mozambique.
The World Food Programme has warned that without immediate intervention and funding, the displacement crisis in Mozambique risks becoming a “hunger emergency”. Internal displacement due to insurgent activity has left at least 730,000 people without homes, jobs, or access to their food producing lands. 228,000 of these people are considered to be highly food insecure. Children are amongst the worst affected groups, with 75,000 children under the age of five being malnourished. The World Food Programme is trying to raise US$121 million in order to fund food provisions for displaced peoples. The tragic situation in Mozambique highlights the intimate relationship between violent conflict and food security.
3. India-Pakistan ceasefire strained by rogue drone attack.
A rogue drone has dropped explosives on an Indian air force base in Jammu, generating fears that the recent ceasefire agreement agreed between India and Pakistan could be called into question. Two Indian soldiers were wounded during the attack. The origin of the drone is unclear, but it is widely believed to have been deployed by pro-Pakistani non-state actors. Some Indian commentators are blaming the government of Pakistan and calling for the Indian government to renege on the ceasefire, but this claim has no foundation. In the wake of the attack, the Indian Air Force is planning to acquire ten anti-drone systems from indigenous vendors.
4. Bougainville leaders set 2027 deadline for independence from Papua New Guinea.
Bougainville’s leadership have set a deadline of 2027 for their region to gain independence from Papua New Guinea. In 2019, the region voted overwhelmingly to separate from PNG, with 97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans voting in favour. The referendum was held as a condition of a 2001 peace treaty which ended a protracted war between Bougainville and PNG, a conflict claimed 20,000 lives. During a recent round of talks Bougainville rebel leader turned President Ishmael Toroama, agreed a timetable for separation with James Marape, PNG’s prime minister. This roadmap will see many constitutional powers granted to Bougainville by 2023, and full independence by 2027. Toroama affirmed that the two separate nations would continue to work together noting, “while Bougainville will have new national symbols and a new international border, Bougainville will still be a Melanesian brother."